World War One nurses in Bedfordshire identified from Antiques Roadshow

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image copyrightEnglish Heritage
image captionCarol Jephson said she recognised her grandmother Olive Buller (left) "right away"

A woman in Canada identified a "forgotten" British World War One nurse as her grandmother after seeing her photo on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow.

Carol Jephson said she was "surprised" to spot Olive Buller, who had worked at a hospital that was set up at Wrest Park in Bedfordshire.

In September 2018, English Heritage, asked people to help identify the women who were "backbone" of the hospital.

The conservation body said other nurses were also identified as a result.

image copyrightCarol Jephson
image captionCarol Jephson shared the contents of Olive Buller's autograph book, which is rare as only two books owned by Wrest Park nurses have been located

The photos featured in an episode of the long-running BBC programme that was filmed at the English Heritage site in Silsoe in 2018.

No formal records exist of the hundreds of nurses who worked there.

English Heritage said Wrest Park was believed to have been the first wartime country house hospital and it operated from 1914 until a fire forced its closure in 1916.

In September, Ms Jephson told the charity she had identified her relative as she watched the Canadian broadcast.

"During their discussion about the history of Wrest Park, I was very surprised to see a photo of my grandmother," she said.

"It is wonderful that my grandmother's collection will now also become part of the archive and it is especially lovely that several other nurses will be recognised as well."

image copyrightCarol Jephson
image captionA photo of ambulances at Wrest Park was also shared by Ms Jephson

Ms Jephson also shared the contents of her grandmother's autograph book with English Heritage, which included information about wounds and personal messages.

One soldier wrote Ms Buller a poem on 9 November 1915, which described her as being "as sweet as sugar" and her presence as "a pleasure".

image copyrightEnglish Heritage
image captionThe hospital was staffed by up to 25 nurses and could accommodate about 200 patients
image copyrightEnglish Heritage
image captionThe photos, showing a nurse with a private dressed up as a nurse, were colourised by Marina Amaral and historian Dan Jones

Andrew Hann, English Heritage lead properties historian, said the women had been "forgotten", but they were "the backbone of the hospital and a crucial part of the war effort".

"Being able to identify Olive Buller and others helps us better understand life at Wrest Park during the war," he said.

"It's incredible we've found these answers all the way across the Atlantic and we're grateful to Carol for coming forward."

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